Mets360 2013 projections: Daniel Murphy

Next up in our projection series is Daniel Murphy. This time last year, Murphy was one of the hottest topics surrounding the Mets. Could he handle playing second base? Could he play the position without getting killed? Would his defensive problems completely negate his offensive contributions? Since Murphy played the entire year without either getting hurt or being the worst defensive second baseman in baseball, those questions have mostly faded away.

Yet his offense did not match what he put up a season ago and his defense was definitely below average. Now, with a full year playing second base under his belt, should we look to Murphy to improve on his numbers from a year ago? Here’s how we see things shaping up for him:

Murphy Projection PA AVG OBP SLG HR RBIs DRS
Gray 565 .290 .357 .435 10 58 11
Groveman 600 .303 .348 .430 11 71 -8
Hangley 676 .294 .360 .437 12 78 -7
Koehler 600 .305 .350 .427 6 65 -10
Mcwilliam 510 .290 .340 .415 10 60 -12
Parker 550 .275 .320 .400 7 55 -12
Rogan 593 .295 .360 .440 8 65 -11
Rogers 600 .310 .350 .430 15 70 10
Stack 602 .309 .370 .431 15 74 -1
Vasile 600 .305 .350 .410 8 70 -8
Walendin 607 .301 .337 .419 10 68 -11

DRS stands for Defensive Runs Saved. Here’s an easy to understand definition of the stat:

“… the numbers determines (using film study and computer comparisons) how many more or fewer successful plays a defensive player will make than league average. For instance, if a shortstop makes a play that only 24% of shortstops make, he will get .76 of a point (1 full point minus .24). If a shortstop BLOWS a play that 82% of shortstops make, then you subtract .82 of a point. And at the end, you add it all up and get a plus/minus.” (Joe Posnanski, Sports Illustrated)

The group seems to think that Murphy will put up a better season offensively than he did in 2012 but we are all over the place in how we think he will do defensively. Among qualified second baseman last year, Murphy finished 19th out of 22 players with a (-11) DRS. The range was from +28 (Darwin Barney) to -30 (Rickie Weeks).

Here is what our group thinks Murphy will do in 2013:

My projection was not included in the table above to make it easier to come up with the median for the ratio numbers. Here’s my prediction: 590 PA, .285/.334/.435, 13 HR, 70 RBIs, 0 DRS.

Finally, let’s close with a table comparing the Mets360 numbers to those of two projection systems – Bill James and ZiPS.

Murphy Projection PA AVG OBP SLG HR RBIs
Bill James 593 .303 .352 .438 6 65
Mets360 573 .301 .350 .430 10 67
ZiPS 469 .282 .325 .397 6 57

Neither of the systematic projection systems forecasts DRS.

The biggest surprise is that our group expects Murphy to display more over the fence power. ZiPS continues to see things unfavorably for the Mets. The playing time forecast is affected by Murphy missing all of 2010 and one-third of 2011, but even ignoring that ZiPS sees Murphy with the lowest ISO of all, with a 115 mark.

Our forecasts will continue to run on Thursdays and Saturdays.

11 comments for “Mets360 2013 projections: Daniel Murphy

  1. Frank
    January 26, 2013 at 2:08 pm

    His power drought was a fluke. He has even claimed in interviews that he thinks he can hit for more power this year. He is getting comfortable at 2B. As long as his body holds up, there is no reason to think that he can’t build on last year.

    • January 26, 2013 at 2:28 pm

      I don’t remember specifics off hand, but I do recall he seemed to swap average for power a few years back. When he hit over .300, there were less doubles and homers. I’m not sure I trust him to do both at one time.

  2. Jerry M
    January 26, 2013 at 3:19 pm

    I agree that Daniel will be better this year. I think he will hit 18-20 HRs & his defense will be better than last year.

  3. Metsense
    January 26, 2013 at 7:49 pm

    NL Avg: 13 HR, 66 RBI, .713 OPS
    Murphy: 6 HR, 65 RBI, .735 OPS -9.0 UZR
    Turner: 2 HR, 19 RBI, .711 OPS 0.0 UZR
    Valdespin: 8 HR, 26 RBI, .710 OPS 0.2 UZR
    Murphy is the best secondbaseman on the Mets. I like him for his hustle and work ethic. I like to root for him. I really thought Murphy could have been traded in a package for an outfielder this winter, which was their pressing need. If the Mets traded Murphy the impact on the lineup would be minimal. Flores, their best hitting prospect is the heir apparent in 2014. Scouts say Flores, a former SS, doesn’t have the range for 2B but won’t he be better defensively then Murphy? So Murphy for an outfielder of similar offensive talent wouldn’t make sense? Living with an average 2B like Valdespin(who is not a favorite of mine) or fall back guy Turner wouldn’t be so bad until Flores is ready and the 2013 OF sure could use the help. I think this consensus was slightly optimistic. A .780 OPS would make him the 2nd best NL secondbaseman based on 2012. He has a career best of 12 HRs so 10 could be reachable but the OPS should be more in the .740 – .750 range.

  4. January 26, 2013 at 9:10 pm

    I would rather see at second base a defensive glove who has better range and superior skills. All teams that win series are strong defensively up the middle. If you’re telling us that Daniel has offensive ability that doesn’t make up for his lack of range and instinct for the position. I agree with Metsense that trading Murphy for a corner outfielder would be a start to improving what is probably going to be the worst outfield in Met history.

  5. Jerry M
    January 26, 2013 at 11:34 pm

    Lets wait until the season is in full swing and you will see why Murphy was the answer at 2nd base.Turner,Valdy,Flores are no better & we have no one ready for 2nd base other then Murphy.You can knock Murph all you want but he will be our 2nd baseman & prove he belongs.

    • Don O'Brien
      January 27, 2013 at 1:45 am

      Agree with you, Jerry M. I love players like Murphy, who play really hard and get clutch hits. I think Scott Hairston was the same type of player, and will miss his bat [best SLG on the team].

      I hope that spirit rubs off on players like Ike Davis and Lucas Duda, but maybe it’s something you’re born with.

      • January 27, 2013 at 7:36 am

        This is an important intangible for baseball that is sometimes over-looked in the world of stats.

        Does this date me?

  6. January 27, 2013 at 12:20 am

    His willingness to learn a new position at the major league level is admirable. He’s just not a second baseman. Murphy is better suited for an American League team as a full time DH with an occasional start at first base. Of course his hitting is going to suffer. It’s a learning curve that he will gradually get accustomed to playing and with that confidence his hitting will return to where it once was. Jerry M just because the Mets are lacking in options for a second baseman doesn’t automatically make Murphy a quality choice. What you’re saying is that the Mets have no else who can fill his offensive stats. It still doesn’t address his below average fielding.

  7. Metsense
    January 27, 2013 at 8:17 am

    Murphy is a round peg in a square hole. He fits but not efficiently. (As opposed to Piazza at 1B who was a square peg for a round hall which just didn’t fit). Championship teams are well oiled machines with all the pieces fitting.
    This is not a knock on Murphy who’s makeup and work ethic I like very much. It is just an observation on how the Mets can improve. (And the 2013 Mets are not a championship team)

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